Silver City, NM, October 10, 2017—The Silver City Ranger District of the Gila National Forest is planning to do a 413 acre prescribed burn in the area known as Redstone. The project boundaries are: Forest Road 154 (Signal Peak Road) and Forest Road 4255 to the south; handline to the east; Forest Road 149 (Meadow Creek Road) to the north; and Highway 15 to the west. Smoke from this one day ignition activity will primarily carry into the Mimbres Valley.
This burn may begin as early as mid-October, weather permitting. Fire managers consider forecasted weather, fuel moistures and other conditions to determine optimal windows to conduct controlled burns. In addition, using Forest Service roads as boundaries, the time of year, the burn scar from the Signal Fire and past pile burning in the Meadow Creek area will assist in controlling any spread from this particular activity.
Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. Prescribed burns are designed to meet specific objectives, including providing community protection and promoting forest health. Prescribed burns are always managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.
By adding the right fire to the landscape at the right place at the right time, controlled burns mitigate the risk of high-intensity wildfire, reduce the spread of insects and disease, improve habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, and promote the growth of healthy trees, wildflowers and other plants.
Smoke from the prescribed burn will be monitored to ensure that the New Mexico Environment Department's Air Quality Bureau regulations are being met. Smoke-sensitive individuals and those with respiratory or heart disease should take precautionary measures. Air quality information and health protection measures are posted online at the New Mexico Department of Health's website: https://nmtracking.org/fire. For more information on this prescribed burn, please contact Marcus Cornwell or Randy Gomez at 575.388.8201.
For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila.